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How Fear of Abandonment Makes Me Accept Less Than I Deserve

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I have learned something about myself that I am afraid to admit.

I am terrified of abandonment and because of that, I accept less than I deserve.

At first, this seems contradictory. I mean, I am someone who is so afraid to be left, so you would think that would make me selective about who I spend my time with. For me, this seems to be the opposite.

After losing people, I began to crave validation. I didn’t care where it came from, I just needed to be told that someone cared about me.

It became my sole purpose in life. I needed someone to tell me that I was worth staying for. I needed to pour all the love I was missing into someone else.

It was a dangerous pattern to fall into, and sadly, I still find myself trapped in the cycle.

I look for people who pretend to care.

What’s bad though, is those people never stay. Which only perpetuates the chain further.

About a year ago, I met a guy. He was your classic smooth talking player. He would tell me how beautiful I am. It was everything I wanted to hear. Slowly, he started to break me down. He would say that no one could know about us. He was too embarrassed of me. He used me for attention and nothing else. I was one of many in his eyes. A conquest to be won by any means necessary. He did not care how much it destroyed me. And yet, I stayed. I protected his feelings and ignored my own.

That’s what a fear of abandonment makes you do. It strips you of who you are until you will accept any sort of attention.

In my mind, it didn’t matter how poorly he made me feel. Even though I went home crying 99 percent of the time, during that 1 percent, I felt visible. I craved love so much that I did not care how much it destroyed me. Day after day, I convinced myself that he was worth the pain because he kept coming back.

It took me a long time to see the error of my ways. He did not come back for me. He came back time after time to beat me down further. For him, it did not matter how much I was hurting. I served one purpose: to puff up his ego. And even then, I could not pull myself away.

If you are like me, take this as your validation.

You do not deserve anything short of perfection. There is nothing wrong with you. You deserve someone who will treat you with respect.

One day, maybe I will demand it for myself.

Photo by Kyle Broad via Unsplash.
Originally published: April 5, 2023
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